Good Advice Not Heeded in “To Build a Fire”
LitMUSE
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The Divide Between Sexes

A Rebuttal to “Good Advice Not Heeded in ‘To Build A Fire’

Advice and opinion are often used interchangeably. To give advice, a speaker must possess authority on the subject. Without this authority, the statement is an opinion. Even when someone receives sound advice, it can fall on deaf ears. This is generally due to the Optimism Bias or a distrust of the speaker. Critical thinking skills are necessary for determining the best course of action. These skills would have helped the chechaquo in London’s “To Build A Fire”. His over-confidence in himself and poor reasoning skills led to his demise. Due to his inability to assimilate new information, the man was not able to incorporate the old-timer’s advice. Even when he realized it was colder than fifty degrees below, he believed he was skilled and smart enough to continue traveling. The man only needed “to keep his head, and he was all right”. He could have used critical thinking skills and experience to determine the value of advice received.

There are some men who behave in arrogant and egotistical manners. Some of them would never ask for directions due to societal stigma and fear of emasculation. Other men understand that labels hold no weight unless given permission and will ask for help. These labels and stereotypes continue to persist because power is afforded to them with each repetition. Gender-based denigration affects men and women.

The above video uses clever imagery to convey that women are too busy emoting to problem solve and that the sexes will never understand each other. Judging someone based on one’s own forestructure is a futile effort. Labels and stereotypes do not define us.

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